Coach K ready to use something he’s never had in Duke basketball career

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski is ready to utilize something that he has never had in his career in Durham.

It’s not often when you hear Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski say that he’s never had a certain player in his career, but here we are.

In meeting with the media on Wednesday afternoon, Coach K explained the status of his team, providing positive updates with still no positive COVID-19 tests within the program, and the team has been able to stay away from injuries in the preseason.

Krzyzewski lauded the work some of his players have made in practices and workouts, specifically Matthew Hurt, Wendell Moore, Jordan Goldwire, Joey Baker, and Jeremey Roach, but the Hall of Famer then blurted out that Mark Williams is someone different in the entire scope of the program.

“Mark Williams is somebody we’ve never really had,” Krzyzewski said.

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The 73-year-old legend said that the combination between Williams’ 7-foot-1 height and 7-foot-5 wingspan is something that the Blue Devils have not had in his previous 40 seasons in Durham.

That’s very high praise from a coach who has seen players like Zion Williamson, Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter, and Vernon Carey Jr. come through the doors of the program within the last five years, not to mention all those who were Blue Devils in the previous 35 years under Krzyzewski.

Mark Williams joins a freshmen class with Roach, Jalen Johnson, DJ Steward, Henry Coleman, and Jaemyn Brakefield.

Why Duke basketball fans might not see as much of Mark Williams as they would like.

Yes, the Duke basketball head coach had great things to say about his freshman center, but he left the door wide open for potentially having to keep Williams on the bench for extended periods of time.

“He’s young, and he’s always had some tendonitis, knee problems,” Coach K explained.

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While certainly a good sign that the team has been able to avoid injury so far, the statement only means that the program is going to be very careful with its 18-year-old tree trunk when it comes to his minutes per game.

It’s possible that Mark Williams might start this season, but fans should most likely expect to see him the most on the defensive side of the ball, using his arms to create havoc at the basket.

Williams was ranked as a five-star prospect and the No. 28 player in the Class of 2020, No. 6 center, and No. 5 player in the state of Florida, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.

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